Do you want to start dropshipping for free? That’s great, but starting a dropshipping store still equates to starting a real business, one that requires not only your time and effort, but also your money. You will have to spend money to earn money at some point!
Most people fantasize about being able to dropship for free. The good news is that you can get started with dropshipping for free. But, “unfortunately,” you’re still launching a legitimate business. You will have to spend money to make money sooner or later. Please don’t believe all of these “gurus” who claim that dropshipping is free!
Starting a dropshipping business is a great way to get started in business. You will be able to sell products to customers, set your own prices, and market your own brand. You do not even have to pay for inventory until it is sold to a customer. You can create a great brand if you are willing to put in the effort.
And, if you’re still on the fence about beginning your online business, you might find it useful to know that ecommerce sales totaled nearly 3.5 trillion dollars globally in 2019. So, if global ecommerce statistics are any indication, starting an online business is becoming a more profitable option right now.
This article will teach you how to start a dropshipping business.
What Is a Dropshipping Business?
Dropshipping is a marketing strategy that allows you to run your store without ever having to hold any stock. Once you’ve made a sale, your supplier will ship your products directly from their warehouse to your customer’s door. You won’t have to worry about storing, packaging, or shipping your products again.
How Does the Dropshipping Business Model Work?
The manufacturer, the retailer (you), and the customer are the three main participants in the dropshipping business model.
In a dropshipping business model, the manufacturer is responsible for creating products, carrying inventory, shipping products to customers on behalf of the retailer, replacing defective products, and restocking them. They sell products at wholesale prices to retailers, assuming the risk of unsold inventory.
The retailer (you) sells the manufacturer’s products on your website under your own brand in the dropshipping business model. You will be in charge of selecting and marketing those products. Furthermore, you will be responsible for their shipping costs as well as setting prices that make you money.
Finally, the customer purchases the products directly from you, the retailer, in the dropshipping business model. If they have any questions or concerns, they contact the retailer from whom they purchased the product.
How Profitable is Dropshipping?
That is a common dropshipping question. Dropshipping can be the most successful business model of all because you are not responsible for shipping or manufacturing costs. As a result, profits can be realized quickly once you’ve found the right suppliers with Oberlo. With our dedicated Profit Margin Tool, you can determine your profit to ensure you’re on the right track to success.
Why Is Starting a Dropshipping Business a Good Idea?
A dropshipping business is a low-risk enterprise. You only pay for materials that you sell to paying customers when it comes to initial investment. You are not overburdened with the costs of creating products, carrying inventory, maintaining unsold inventory, and paying employees to package and ship products. It’s a great way to get started in entrepreneurship because you can begin your own dropshipping business on your own time in the evenings and on weekends. When it comes to processing orders, it will necessitate daily effort. However, the majority of order processing steps are automated and only require the click of a button. The dropshipping business opportunities are limitless; all you have to do is take the first step.
How to Start a Dropshipping Business: The 6 Step Dropshipping Business Plan
Step 1: Choosing a Dropshipping Business Idea
The truth is that what you sell is important. You should devote some time to researching the best dropshipping business ideas. Most people advise you to choose a niche in which you are interested. But that’s only half the story.
It’s about a mix of profit and passion, with a slant toward profit. The truth is that the most profitable dropshipping business ideas are usually the best. When you’re making money, it’s much easier to be motivated.
Oberlo regularly saves you time by compiling lists of popular products. True, those are the ones that people gravitate toward, but that is because they have a successful track record. Entering a niche with no competition is illogical, as I discovered the hard way.
Fitness, fashion, jewelry, beauty, technology, purses, and backpacks are just a few of the evergreen niches that top online retailers continue to enter and succeed in. So, spend some time researching various dropshipping business ideas.
If you prefer to come up with your own dropshipping business ideas rather than using ours, here are a few things to consider:
Google Trends is excellent for determining whether a niche is trending upward or downward. However, this alone is difficult to determine whether or not a niche is feasible. Some niches may be on the rise, but there isn’t enough search volume to justify their popularity.
Make use of Ubersuggest’s Keyword Tool. What is the search volume for a particular keyword? Or is it the competitiveness? Using Ubersuggest’s Keyword Tool will assist you in understanding the potential of your dropshipping business ideas and will provide you with additional ideas for the future.
Examine popular websites in your niche. For example, if you look at a fashion retailer’s website, you’ll notice that they frequently organize their store into trend categories. This assists you in determining which trends you should be incorporating into your store right now. You can also look through a store’s best-selling items to find the best products to sell.
Examine the product order volume. Within Oberlo, you can browse products based on their order volume to get a sense of how famous a product is. Don’t dismiss dropshipping business ideas just because they aren’t as expensive as other products, because those products may be newer.
The most profitable dropshipping business ideas aren’t based on current events. They, on the other hand, have trends within them. Denim clothing, for example, is a fashion niche trend. Artificial eyelashes are a popular trend in the beauty industry. Marble phone cases are a popular trend in the phone case market.
If you’re building a long-term business, you’ll want to have the trends as products but not as the entire store. So keep that in mind as you develop your dropshipping business plan.
Step 2: Competitor Analysis
Once you’ve decided what to sell, you should research who your competitors are, what they sell, and how they sell their products. There are numerous approaches that can be taken.
Enter the name of one of the products you want to sell into Google and perform a quick search to see who ranks first. The top ten results on Google or any other search engine will give you an idea of your competition in a specific location.
If you are selling products in a location other than your own, you can collect data using third-party tools. To gain information about search results in various locations around the world, use tools such as SEM Rush or Ahref.
Search Alexa or SimilarWeb for niche competitors who may not appear high in general search results. These websites will provide a summary of the websites you are looking for, including their social media profiles, any advertising they are doing, audience and traffic data for their website, and a list of competitors for that business.
Investigate social media. You should came up with dropshipping business ideas after conducting competitor research. You should look through Facebook ads in a specific niche as well as social media pages for well-known brands. How many fans do they have?
What strategies do they use to promote their brand? How well does their brand fare in terms of engagement? What can I do differently to distinguish myself from them? What are they doing right that I should try to emulate?
Use BuzzSumo to learn about your competitors’ content and what works best for them so you can recreate it. This tool will provide you with insight into which content receives the most social shares, allowing you to find motivation for new blog concepts.
Signing up for a competitor’s newsletters can also keep you up to date on their blog content if they share it this way.
Step 3: Find a Supplier
With Oberlo, it can be simple to find a reliable supplier. Once on the platform, you can search for products and select suppliers from the finding. For each supplier on the Oberlo platform, you can see reviews, ratings, and how long the supplier has been on the platform, which should influence your decision on which supplier to choose.
When you have a list of five or six potential suppliers to choose from, you can proceed to the next step of notifying these suppliers and asking important questions such as minimum order quantities and shipping times.
You’ve probably narrowed down your list of potential suppliers from 5 to 2-3 by now. The best way to decide right now is to place a sample order for a product and compare the results. While making a decision, compare ecommerce shipping times, product quality, and packaging while keeping your customer in mind and what they will anticipate from you when placing an order.
Step 4: Building a Dropshipping Business Store
There are a few components to building a dropshipping ecommerce business the right way. Here are a few:
(a) Domain Name – Your domain name is important, especially if you intend to build a long-term brand. You can simplify the process by using a free business name generator. No matter what, always get a.com domain.
If you want to use your niche as a keyword in your new domain, make it broad, such as beauty, jewelry, or fashion, rather than very specific, so you don’t have to change your domain name later. Also, don’t use your own name as the domain for your store. If you ever sell your company, you may be able to legally use the rights to your own name.
(b) Sign up for Shopify – Shopify is the market’s most complete and accurate ecommerce platform. With new features, tools, resources, and apps being added on a regular basis, you’ll find that the platform is simple to use and run a business on. Furthermore, if you get stuck, you can contact a Shopify expert who will personally walk you through any steps for free.
(c) Shopify Themes – Minimal Vintage is my go-to free theme; it’s simple to use, clean, and overall a great starter theme for those on a tight budget. Themes can be changed at any time. In the beginning, when you’re just testing out free themes, they’ll be enough. Once you’ve made some money, you can put it toward purchasing a new theme for a more appealing store design.
(d) Install Oberlo – Dropshipping with Oberlo helps to find products online that you can sell the same day. Products will be available in a variety of famous niches. When first starting out, aim for 10-25 products because writing product descriptions for much more than that can be immense.
If you have any questions, you can contact Oberlo via their blog, social media pages, or Shopify’s support line. You can also inspect out 50 Ways to Get Sales with Dropshipping to understand the accurate strategies and marketing hacks I’ve used on my own online stores to make money with dropshipping.
Step 5: Marketing Your Dropshipping Business with Everything You’ve Got:
So, now that you’ve found your product and established your store, it’s time to market your dropshipping business like there’s no tomorrow. This is an important step in your dropshipping business strategy. So don’t start tweaking with your store’s design and pretending that you’re making progress. You don’t have to be afraid to put yourself out there. One of the best feelings is making your first sale!
If you’re just starting out, you’re probably working on a limited budget. Some of my greatest marketing ideas have come from times when I was extremely frugal. Here are a few examples to get you started:
Retargeting Ads: If you’re on a strict budget, we recommend retargeting ads because they keep costs low. If you have a high-traffic store, this ad is ideal. Perhaps you’re doing free marketing on Pinterest and getting a lot of traffic from there. Perhaps you wrote a blog post on your website, featured influencers, and now influencers are freely sharing your blog.
With a retargeting ad, you can take that free traffic and transform it into a paying customer. Even more effective than a standard Facebook ad. It’s also a lot less expensive.
Influencer Marketing: Getting started with a dropshipping business will require you to be a little scrappy at first. If you can’t afford to pay influencers their rates, which is a good thing, you can instead grant them an affiliate commission. What makes this a good thing?
I discovered the hard way that even a niche-specific influencer does not always convert. It’s almost like a blind shot. If you pay an affiliate fee for each sale, you lower the risk for your dropshipping business, and the influencer is in charge of converting the sale. In addition, you’ll receive some images that will help boost your brand’s social proof.
If the influencer has genuine followers, they may be able to earn significantly more money as an affiliate than they would have if they were paid a flat rate. As a result, they will have the opportunity to earn even more money.
Step 6: Optimize:
After you’ve spent time developing your website, brand, and marketing strategy, you can begin to evaluate the results of your efforts. You may discover that some marketing activities are extremely successful while others are not. Alternatively, you can compare your pricing to that of competitors and see if you can make some changes to make things more competitive.
You can evaluate your online traffic using tools like Google Search Console or Analytics to ensure that it is increasing rather than decreasing. Set up weekly or monthly automatic reports if you use third-party tools for email marketing or social media reporting so that you are reminded to evaluate this data on a regular basis.
Even a quick snapshot of data from a tool can be enough to determine whether or not a campaign is working.
Overall, the most essential element of running a successful online ecommerce store is testing and optimizing in order to enhance revenue. This ensures that your website does not fall behind best practices and that you stay ahead of your competitors.